The $1.5 billion Chartway Federal Credit Union in Virginia vowed to "move forward" in soliciting more troubled CUs for mergers as it also defended its Jan. 1 NCUA takeover of a Utah CU as an opportunity to "save the culture" and protect identities.
In a statement, Chartway of Virginia Beach said its decision to merge the struggling $311 million HeritageWest FCU of Tooele, Utah, has created an industry stir or "storm" but should be viewed as an attempt by a large healthy CU to "assist" needy counterparts through the NCUA purchase/assumption process.
"For many, the news was that yet another financial institution had failed," said Chartway's President/CEO Ronald L. Burniske. On the contrary "we didn't see a troubled credit union" but one "reaching out for help," said Burniske.
To that end in taking over HeritageWest, Chartway saw a chance to "save the heritage and tradition of a great institution made even stronger through a strong partnership with Chartway," said the Virginia CEO.
Evidence of that is the decision to retain HeritageWest staff and keep the name, said Burniske.
Since its announcement, Chartway said it has witnessed widespread discussion of its HeritageWest acquisition with "countless Web sites, newspapers and bloggers" weighing in on the transaction.
Working with NCUA, Chartway has said it is planning other U.S. purchase/assumption deals, which could come within days or weeks.